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Cutting corners pays off for panels

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After a raised-panel split in a cabinet door, I performed an autopsy to see what caused the failure. It turns out some glue squeeze-out froze the solid-wood panel corners, preventing the panel from contracting without splitting.

Now, before I glue up my raised-panel doors, I always knock off the corners of the panel with a chisel—just 14 " or so to make sure it stays hidden. I’ve had no more split doors since I started doing this because any squeeze-out can’t reach the panel’s corners.
—John Hammen, Kaukauna, Wis.

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